Library Foundation flapping red cape for the bullish on books

"Toro Obscuro," Joel Salcido, poster artist for San Antonio Book Festival 2013,
“Toro Obscuro,” Joel Salcido, poster artist for San Antonio Book Festival 2013,

A full day of readings by recently published Texas authors is on the horizon for Saturday, April 13. No need to steel yourself for a drive up I-35 because the San Antonio Public Library Foundation is bringing a fresh edition of the Texas Book Festival here to the Central Library and the Southwest School of Art for seven hours of readings, discussions and signings.

logoThe preliminary schedule is so packed I assembled links to resolve (or attempt to resolve) conflicting pulls among the readings in advance. Definitely check the official website for updates before heading downtown:

All Day

  • Book Sales
  • Coloring Station, Painting Bookmarks; H-E-B Children’s Area
  • Latino Leadership for the Library En Nuestras Palabras: My Story Van, Stories on the Porch, Create A Story, Meet the Story Tellers, Stories are Milagros for the Future; Central Library Plaza Walk

10 a.m.

10:45 a.m.

  • Elaine Scott (Buried Alive!: How 33 Miners Survived 69 Days Deep Under the Chilean Desert); Children’s Area, Central Library
  • Storytelling with Sarah Loden; H-E-B Children’s Area

going-clear-cover11 a.m.

11:15 a.m.

  • Celebrating Small-Town Texas Souls with Liza Palmer and Lynda Rutledge; Moderator, Josie Seeligson; Southwest School of Art, Ursuline Campus

11:30 a.m.


12:15 p.m.

12:30 p.m.

  • A Sense of Birthplace: Investigating the Past: Beatriz de la Garza and Sarah Cortez; Moderator, Yvette Benavides; Southwest School of Art, Navarro Campus

oleander12:45 p.m.

1 p.m.

  • Sandra Cisneros performs from Have You Seen Marie?; Moderator, John Phillip Santos; Central Library

I always tell people that I became a writer not because I went to school but because my mother took me to the library.

Sandra Cisneros

job-cover1:45 p.m.

2 p.m.

2:15 p.m.

alicia2:30 p.m.

2:45 p.m.

  • At War Over the Environment: Two Experts on the Politics of Parks and the Natural World with George Bristol and Char Miller; Moderator, Weir Labatt; Southwest School of Art, Navarro Campus

3 p.m.

  • Esmeralda Santiago on Conquistadora; Moderator, José Rubén De León, Central Library
  • For readers of Young Adult fiction: Summer of the Mariposas with Guadalupe Garcia McCall; Moderator, Yvette Benavides; Southwest School of Art, Navarro Campus
  • Thinking caps and creativity crowns; H-E-B Children’s Area

3:15 p.m.

4 p.m.

4:15 p.m.


An incredible agenda for a first-time event (May there be many more).

Of course you will need breaks, so there will be children’s activities and music throughout the day.

And nourishing your mind makes you hungry, so some of San Antonio’s favorite food trucks will be parked nearby for refueling.

Hmm, this is San Antonio. Wonder where the beer stand is….

cafeNote to Austinites: Your turn to hit I-35.

Note to Self: Never get so excited about something you decide to post the whole schedule – with custom links – again.

And thanks to the Mister Barista for that caffe corretto blast.

April 12, 2013, Update:

Just received the schedule for the Latino Leadership for the Library area just outside the Central Library, and it adds another slew of author appearances.



Sandra Cisneros letting sense of place shine

Without a sense of place the work is often reduced to a cry of voices in empty rooms, a literature of the self, at its best poetic music; at its worst a thin gruel of the ego.

William Kennedy

If a statue of St. Joseph is buried somewhere in Sandra Cisneros’ yard, please unearth it.
That’s unfair and selfish, I know. But she’s not just writing about her neighborhood, it’s mine as well.
Her writer’s quill is one contributing immensely to this porcupine of a city.

If Sandra Cisneros lives here, can I justify the trip to San Miguel de Allende?

Keynote speaker Barbara Kingsolver and an intensive writing workshop led by C.M. Mayo drew my daughter Kate and me to the San Miguel International Writers’ Conference this past February.   The conference sessions were so great, we did not even skip out once to wander the streets of San Miguel de Allende.  Given the allure of San Miguel, that’s amazing; although a visit a few months earlier helped keep us focused.   

As I walked past Sandra Cisneros‘ house on the river this morning, I thought:  Can I really justify traveling all the way to San Miguel to hear keynote talks by someone who lives right here in San Antonio?    

I think the answer is a definite maybe.  A five-day concentrated dose of writing workshops is an incredible experience.    

Plus, the writers’ conference is to blame for this blog.  I am hoping they are planning on prescribing an antidote, a session on how to keep prolific blogging from interfering with working on your novel.   

Note Added:  Button Boxes   

Exploring Sandra Cisneros’ website led me to her memories of  button boxes.  Never figured out what happened to Nana’s button tins. I wanted to inherit them so badly.  They were magical.  Seemed to contain buttons from two generations back.  Buttons so complex to assemble that there is no wonder there were buttonmaker unions.  I’d sit for hours creating button collages in her sewing room overlooking the giant fig tree in the backyard; yet, to this day, have absolutely no interest in replacing a commonplace button on a shirt.   

Aunt Billie
Marilyn Lanfear's "Aunt Billie"


Note Added on September 11:  Which, in turn, led me to the consummate button artist, San Antonio Art League’s Artist of the Year – Marilyn Lanfear.  She is being honored with an exhibit opening on Sunday, September 12, from 3 to 5 p.m.   

“Billie Patterson Moore died in the school explosion in New London TX”   

by Marilyn Lanfear

Mother-of-pearl and bone buttons on linen,
2005-07, 54” x 95.25”

Update on October 20:  Read about Marilyn Lanfear’s exhibit at Glasstire

Update on November 29:  Marilyn Lanfear’s exhibit, “What Is Lost; What Is Found; What Is Remembered,” opens at Blue Star on Thursday, December 9.   She refers to herself as “a storyteller” who creates:

a visual language that depends on and invites elaboration. I want the viewers to have associative memories and make my history into theirs.